How To Choose The Right Branding Agency

 

It can be a painstaking search looking to identify the right agency partners to bring your brand to life.  Trusting an outside team to create the right branding for your company is difficult even under the most ideal of circumstances.   Part art, part science, branding is the nucleus of a new company…it defines who you are and what you aspire to be to people. Get it right, and your organization can flourish and scale.  Get it wrong, and you risk getting lost in a sea of competitors.   Unfortunately, there is no exact formula to follow to guarantee success.  But, there are steps you can take to minimize the effort and energy required to find the right branding agency in Los Angeles and maximize your chances of success.

 

What type of media channels does your brand advertise on, primarily?    The first step is to ask yourself what kind of branding agency are you looking for in Los Angeles?  An agency experienced in your category, or one that inspires you in general?  If you’re a digitally native vertical brand, and your website and mobile portal are the customer experience, you’ll want to look for an agency with experience in advertising e-commerce, whether B2B or B2C.  If you are selling via retail outlets, you’ll want a Los Angeles based agency with heavy experience with in-store and point-of-purchase marketing.   You don’t need to know everything about what you want before you start your search but It always helps to ask and answer for yourself, first, a few key questions.

 

Find branding you admire -then find out who did it

There are hundreds of branding agencies in Los Angeles.  How do you find the right one for you?  Stop and ask yourself what brands you admire and why.  These can be brands you use daily or ones you don’t use at all.  What matters it that you connect with these brands on a personal level.  Make a list of 10 brands you love, then do a little research and find out who did the branding agency work.  Start by engaging those companies - or companies that have similar strengths to those companies.   If you’ve identified a massive consumer brand and think you could never afford their agency, remember, that in almost every case, these brands were serviced by small, independent shops at the time the branding was created.   Even if you don’t end up working with one of the agencies, you’ll have a stronger base of knowledge as you go to work with whatever branding agency in Los Angeles that ends up your partner.

 

Know your competitors inside and out

Your agency will do their due diligence, surely, but as a brand owner you really need to make yourself responsible for knowing as much as you can at all times about the competitive landscape.   Know who they are.  Know who runs the companies.  Know what their competitive advantages are.  Know what they do better and worse than you.  The more you know about your competitors before you engage a local branding agency in Los Angeles, the more you will know about yourself.  Also, you’ll be better positioned to communicate your wants and needs to your agency partners.

 

Know your company culture

Be able to articulate what defines your company culture.   Brands are more than just the products and services they provide - they inform and affect popular culture.  People want to know what kind of business you are, how you treat your employees, how you see the world.  That all starts with your internal company culture.  Be able to define and articulate your values.

 

Know what you are not

This is critical.  Companies and people who try to be all things to all people are setting themselves up for failure.   You have to know who you are, but you have to know equally well who you are not.  This will help create boundaries for an branding agency that you end up working with.

 

Own the brief

Don’t rely on others to tell you what you need.  You may not be able to fully articulate what you want from a branding agency, but your gut will tell you whether it’s right or wrong.  Stay engaged with the agency throughout, give honest and forthright feedback, trust and empower them, and you will succeed together.

 

Reward performance, cultivate relationships

Incentivize your agency partners by rewarding performance.  A bonus for achieving goals motivates everyone, especially trusted and valued vendors.  Realize that all business is ultimately based on relationships, and relationships take time.  It’s a worthwhile investment.